Want to workout at home but unsure of what equipment to choose? Well one of the cheapest pieces of kit you could start with is a simple resistance band, great for sculpting your muscles and toning up.
It is light and portable, so could even be carried with you to work for a quick toning workout during your lunch break. Or perhaps you could even pack one in your suitcase when you go away on holiday, just in case there isn’t a gym.
Wherever you decide to train, we have chosen our top twelve toning exercises using a resistance band to help you sculpt your body without the need for heavy weights. Complete the exercises in order for one full circuit and try and build up to 3 circuits.
Remember to warm gently by raising your heart rate by walking or climbing stairs for a few minutes and also by mobilizing your joints.
1. Resisted Push Ups
Pep up your Pecs with this excellent ‘uplifting’ chest exercise.
- Wrap the band behind your upper back and around each palm and kneel down on the floor, placing your hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder width apart, to support your weight through your arms and knees.
- Keeping your torso rigid, with your abdominal braced, slowly lower your chest to the floor, then extend your arms to return to the start position.
- To make this exercise harder perform the exercise with your legs straight, ensuring you don’t allow your back to sag.
- Aim for 15-20 repetitions.
2. Seated Row
Avoid rounded shoulders with this posture improving back exercise.
- Hook or wrap the resistance band around a bedpost or a door handle, grip the handles and sit on the floor with your legs slightly bent, leaning back slightly.
- Pull the band handles towards your ribs, keeping your elbows high and in line with the forearms.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull the handles back.
- After reaching full contraction, when your hands are level with your rib cage, return to the start position.
- Aim for 15-20 repetitions
- If the resistance is not sufficient wrap the band around each wrist for greater tension or you could even use two resistance bands.
3. Abdominal Wood Chop
Who needs to crunch when this wood chop exercise works all your abdominal muscles, great for your core strength.
- Wrap the resistance band around a bedpost or door handle ensuring this ‘anchor point’ will not move.
- Hold the handles together with both hands, and at full twist to your right, towards the anchor point, making sure there is tension in the band.
- Brace your abdominal and then twist from the waist, turning your torso so that the resistance band is stretched as you rotate keeping your arms fixed.
- Try not to ‘over-twist’ in this movement and keep the movement speed controlled.
- Try 10-15 repetitions before swapping to other side.
4. Upright Row
A great exercise for defined and shapely shoulders.
- Stand on the resistance band with your legs hip distance apart and then cross the band handles over to increase the resistance and grip in each hand.
- With your knees slightly bent and your abdominal braced, pull on the handles lifting them towards your shoulders, keeping your elbows pointing upwards.
- Pause briefly in this top position before lowering slowly and repeating aiming for 12-15 repetitions.
5. Bulgarian Single Leg Squat
This one is a tough one but great for your legs and bottom but to begin with, you may want to perform the exercise without the resistance band.
- Stand with the band under your front foot with the handles held over the shoulders.
- Your rear leg is bent and rests on a chair or similar, behind you, as you face away from the chair.
- Keeping your balance, bend your front leg and lower yourself down towards the floor until your front thigh is parallel to the floor, pausing briefly before returning back to the start position.
- Try to raise and lower your body under control and avoid leaning too far forwards so that your front knee bends beyond your toes.
- Aim for 10-15 squats before changing your stance and repeating with your other leg.
6. Single Arm Curl
A fantastic exercise for shapely arms.
- Hold both handles of the resistance band in your right hand and stand on the band with either your right foot or both feet.
- Brace your abdominal and maintaining an upright posture, curl the handles towards your right shoulder by flexing your arm at the elbow.
- Pause briefly in this top position before lowering slowly and repeating for 12-15 repetitions and repeat on your left side holding both handles in your left hand.
7. Triceps Push-Down
- Hold both handles of the resistance band, having secured it via the anchor point above your head, such as a door clothes hook or high banister etc.
- Keep your elbows close to your ribs and bend your arms so that your hands are being pulled towards the anchor point through the resistance in the band.
- Brace your abdominal and slowly extend both arms, to stretch the band, bringing your hands down and towards your hips.
- Pause briefly in this extended position, before slowly returning to the start position ensuring there is minimal movement through your elbows or upper arms and repeat for 12-20 repetitions.
8. Single Arm Press
This is a great chest and core exercise.
- Wrap the band around a secure anchor point such as a door handle and then turn to face away from this point holding both bands in your right hand.
- Stand in a split stance, with your left foot forwards and hold the band handles by your ribs.
- Use your left arm as a guide, holding it at chest height, yet outstretched in front of you.
- Keeping your abdominal braced, rotate your waist as you press the handles forwards, whilst simultaneously retracting your left arm.
- At full extension, pause briefly and then return back to the start position with your right hand by your ribs.
- Repeat these single arm presses for 12-15 repetitions before swapping hands and changing your stance so that your right foot is forwards when holding the handles in your left hand and repeat for desired repetitions.
9. Single Arm Row
A great core and back exercise.
- Secure the resistance band around a door handle or similar and hold both handles in your right hand, facing the anchor point.
- Your right arm should be outstretched with the resistance band slightly stretched.
- Standing in a neutral or split stance, retract your shoulder blades and pull your right arm back towards you so that your hand is level with your ribs.
- Pause briefly and then, slowly return to the start position with your right arm outstretched.
- Repeat for 12-15 repetitions before changing your grip and holding the handles in your left hand and repeat.
10. Frontal Raise
A great exercise to help tone your shoulders.
- Stand in a split stance with one foot in front of the other.
- Place the band under the rear foot and step through with your arms holding the handles by your hips.
- Brace your abdominal and slowly raise your arms level with your shoulders trying not to lean back.
- Hold briefly at the top phase and then slowly return to the start position.
- If it is uncomfortable with both arms, try one arm raise at a time.
- Aim for 12-15 repetitions.
11. Wood Chop on Half Kneeling
- Wrap the resistance band around a secure anchor point such as a door handle or banister
- Kneel down on one knee and hold the handles together with both hands, at full twist to your left, towards the anchor point, making sure there is tension in the band.
- Brace your abdominal and then twist from the waist, turning to your right so that the resistance band is stretched as you rotate keeping your arms fixed.
- Aim for 10-15 repetitions before turning and swapping to the other side and changing your kneeling leg.
12. Lying Triceps Extension
- Lie back over a stability ball holding the grips of a resistance band in each hand so that your back and shoulders are resting on the ball, with the grips by your ears.
- Your feet should be hip distance apart with knees bent and hips pushed upwards and your abdominal braced.
- Keep your legs slightly bent and place your elbows either on or behind your knees keeping the tension through the band.
- Slowly extend your arms to full extension over your head holding the grips, keeping your elbows still.
- Then lower the grips back to the start position controlling the movement with your arms and repeat for 12-15 repetitions
Which one of these resistance band exercises is your favorite or are doing for sometime now? Let us know, we are happy to read your comments and don’t forget to like us on Facebook.